All-Star Preview: Are the NBA’s big men poised to take over the skills challenge?

Anthony Davis. (Tony Gutierrez/AP)

What: Taco Bell Skills Challenge

When: Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016

Participants:
DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings
Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors
Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans
CJ McCollum, Portland Trail Blazers
Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves
Isaiah Thomas, Boston Celtics
Jordan Clarkson, Los Angeles Lakers
Emmanuel Mudiay, Denver Nuggets

Thing to Watch #1: It’s no longer just about the point guards. For the first time the in the 14-year history of the event, the NBA has included multiple big men as the game continues to evolve towards a position-less sport. DeMarcus Cousins, Draymond Green, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Anthony Davis will show off their size-to-skill ratio in the competition.

Thing to Watch #2: For the second straight year the contest will be bracket style, which could result in some interesting cross match-ups. Imagine the seven-foot Anthony Davis going head to head with someone a foot shorter than him. Imagine former teammates DeMarcus Cousins and Isaiah Thomas, who had bad blood in Sacramento, squaring off. The bracket reveal will be as fun as the actual competition.

Thing to Watch #3: The Golden State sweep. Green is one of the most competitive athletes in sports. In a year where the Warriors have won everything and one of Klay Thompson and Steph Curry are likely to win the three-point competition, you know Green will be playing for keeps. This is an event that players have coasted through in the past. Green isn’t wired that way.

Prediction: Isaiah Thomas wins it with a Marcus Stroman-like “height doesn’t measure heart” performance. His low centre of gravity will allow him to navigate the twists and turns of the course and have a great angle for the dreaded bounce pass portion. He’s already one of the fastest players in the league with the ball in his hands, and as long as he knocks down his shots it is his competition to lose.